Just Six Months After Launch, Streaming Service Quibi To Close Down Operations

It was just six months ago that streaming service Quibi had launched as a company in the United States but earlier this week the company said that it was winding down its business and operations and was soon to initiate a process for selling off its assets.

According to analysts, this sudden announcement by the company clearly highlights and underscores the dominance of the video streaming industry by the likes of Netflix, Amazon’s Prime Video, Disney+ and Apple TV+. Smaller service providers find it almost impossible to match up to these giants of the industry and against the huge budgets that these large and dominant companies spend on content and the huge libraries of shows that they possess.

“The world has changed dramatically since Quibi launched and our standalone business model is no longer viable,” founder Jeffrey Katzenberg said in a statement.

Entertainment and news in episodes of 10 minutes or less on mobile phones are offered by the Los Angeles based Quibi. The company had initially touted its services as apt for on-the-go viewing.

The company had priced the service at $5 a month with advertisements and at $8 a month without ads.

“Our failure was not for lack of trying; we’ve considered and exhausted every option available to us,” Chief Executive Meg Whitman and Katzenberg said in a letter to employees.

Either the business idea itself wasn’t strong enough to justify a standalone streaming service or because of the timing of the launch of the company when the pandemic was raging and new major players were coming up with new streaming services such as the one fr5om Disney, could be responsible for the failure of the company, they said.

Quibi was however not launched without some financial support. It was backed by $1.8 billion from Hollywood studios and other investors. The company launched the streaming services on April 6 when people were forced to stay back in their homes because of the restrictions imposed on travelling and stay at home orders imposed ot prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“Most Dangerous Game” starring Liam Hemsworth and Christoph Waltz and “Chrissy’s Court” and news and talk shows like “Around the World by BBC News” and “The Report by NBC News”were among the popular shows that were offered by the service.

Since its launch, $3.3 million in subscription revenue has been generated by Quibi in addiitn to the revenues generated by it from advertisement sales. And according to analytics firm Apptopia, the company’s revenue had been steadily going downhill since July.  

(Adapted from Reuters.com)

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